No matter what kind of music you like, you should take advantage of its powerful abilities and use it as a de-stressor. With all the hectic studying and cramming for finals, no one is in a particularly overly joyful mood. Most of our all consuming thoughts have to do with the fundamental theorem of calculus, how to conjugate saber in the subjunctive, and what night we will finally be free to go out and party one last time before break. However, tonight I found that one of the most beautiful forms of relieving stress is by listening to music.
Throughout all of middle and high school I had been in chorus and while I loved being a part of the chorus, I loved watching other chorus’s and orchestras, and bands, and listening from the outside in rather than being the one performing. My mother has kept the radio on the classical music channel for as long as I can remember and whenever I took my two a.m. study breaks to lie down on the living room couch, Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart are the ones who would help clear my mind and lull me to sleep (ruining the goal of a mere 10 minute nap), but I didn’t complain; I thought it was beautiful.
After coming to college, I no longer had this influence in the room next door to where I was studying, so I began to listen to a “6 Hour of The Best Beethoven Classical Music Piano Studying Concentration Playlist Mix by JaBig” on youtube in order to compensate, but I had forgotten how good this music was live. I had been so busy with work and figuring out my first semester of college and how to organize my life, that I hadn’t looked for any opportunities of seeing this music live. However, last night my suite mate informed me that she was going to a Beethoven concert at the Garrison theatre at 8 pm Saturday night and that I should go with her if I wanted. I thought it would be nice but I said “maybe” because I didn’t know if I’d be studying or getting ready to go out to Casemas, or watching Modern Family in my bed. It turns out I was on the second floor of the library, in the founders room, and I could literally look out the doors and see the Garrison theatre. It was so easy for me to run over there, get a little taste of Beethoven and run back…so at 7:58 p.m. that’s what I decided to do. I told my friend I would only stay for about 15 minutes, but boy was I wrong.
The Claremont Concert Orchestra, Choir, and Chorale, were all performing Beethoven’s symphony No. 9, and it was mesmerizing. I wish I could have captured my feelings in my pocket when the music began to crescendo and kept that burst of joy for when I went back to studying related rates and optimization. All the bows began to vigorously saw in synchronization, the conductor’s hand danced so sharply around his head, and a chill of happiness ran through my spine. I sat there with the biggest smile on my face, like a little kid who had just been chosen to be line leader, basking in the wonderful glory that surrounded me. When the choir started singing and the soloists operatically sang their high c’s and low bass notes, I don’t think my smile could have gotten any bigger. Their voices reverberated through the room, bounced off the walls, and into my soul. I didn’t care that they were singing in German, I wouldn’t have cared if they were singing in Japanese, Russian, or even gibberish; the music made me happy and let me feel something that all the stress of finals had stolen from me.
While I normally hate to waste time, that hour and a half that I spent sitting in the last row of the Garrison theatre was inspirational. I was sitting there waiting to get back to my computer to write this article so that everyone else could get a peek of this outlet to happiness. I understand that classical music is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that everyone has their own taste; so the moral of the article is not to go out and listen to Beehtoven’s symphony No. 9 because it will open your eyes to the world, rather I am encouraging you not to forget about the things that make you happy. College is supposed to be full of opportunities, so find the things you like because they are bound to be somewhere around the 5 C’s. While I wander through the library, trying to find anything else to do besides learn 100+ Spanish vocabulary words, I see everyone with earphones in, it makes me happy that many people already know what I am trying to say; it’s as if I’m preaching to the choir. Nonetheless, whether you know this or not, music helps clear your mind and it lets you effortlessly introspect about your life and surface feelings stress has destroyed. Whether you listen to Frankie Valley and the Four Season’s “Oh What a Night,” Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas,” Green Day’s “American Idiot,” Zedd’s “Clarity,” Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t you Worry Child,” Taylor Swift’s “I knew you were trouble,” or a mix of all genres, don’t stop, especially during this time of year, because music can be the greatest outlet for you to relieve yourself of your worries and study effectively, and happily.